Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin said that Bangladesh is the most advanced in Asia in taking steps to protect vultures. The country banned the vulture-harmful drug diclofenac in 2010, a first in Asia. After that another harmful drug Ketoprofen was also banned by the government.
After the ban of ketoprofen, the use of the safer drugs meloxicam and tolfamenic acid has started to increase, which is a significant step in the protection of vultures. In this regard, the minister called upon all pharmaceutical companies to comply with the government directives to stop the production and marketing of harmful ketoprofen. The minister said, any long-term science-based plan for vulture conservation will be supported in its implementation if it comes to our ministry.
On the occasion of International Vulture Awareness Day 2022, the Minister of Environment and Forests said these things in the discussion meeting organized by the Forest Department on Saturday, September 3.
The Environment Minister said, besides, the formation of ‘Bangladesh National Vulture Conservation Committee’, the official declaration of two vulture safe zones and the ten-year (2016-2025) “Bangladesh Vulture Conservation Action Plan” are serving as a long-term framework to protect Bangladesh’s vultures. We have already successfully completed many activities of the vulture conservation action plan and we are determined to complete the remaining activities as well.
Forest Minister Shahab Uddin said that various effective decisions taken by the government in the 7th and 8th regional management committee meetings in 2017 and 2019 are serving as a milestone for the conservation of vultures in Bangladesh and South Asia. Special tags have been made in the pattern of red-green flags to be attached to the vulture’s wings. In addition to these wing tags, this year there are plans to tag vultures through satellite tracking, a new technology. Through this activity, the movement of vultures in our country will be monitored which will play an important role in the conservation of vultures. For the sake of all of us, we must all commit to protecting the remaining vultures for the sake of protecting the environment.
Ministry Deputy Minister Habibun Nahar and Additional Secretary (Administration) Iqbal Abdullah Haroon spoke as special guests on the occasion. Chief Forest Conservator Md. Amir Hossain Chowdhury presided. Among others, Bangladesh Bird Club founder Inam Al Haque, Prakriti and Jiban Jiban Foundation Chairman Mukit Majumder Babu, Sufal Project Project Director Gobind Roy and Wildlife and Nature Reserve Zone Forest Conservator Imran Ahmed spoke. The keynote was presented by ABM Sarwar Alam, Senior Program Officer, IUCN Bangladesh.
On the occasion, the minister distributed prizes among the winners of the poster making competition organized among the students of various universities to create awareness about vulture conservation. Apart from Dhaka, discussions and rallies have been organized to celebrate the day in various vulture-rich areas of the country.